Key lyric: “some well-dressed girl said ‘times are tough’/ had she forgotten many years ago/ she would have been a shadow, had no voice/ then and now, then and now”
Hippie Bob says: it’s all about orientation, man. In time, in place. Get thinking that way, and you get out of your head, and you start to see that some things are really different and some things barely change. And just cuz you feel ardently about something don’t mean you’re right. Maybe you are. But you gotta do your homework and contextualize before getting up on your soapbox, man.
And just cuz you feel ardently about something don’t mean you’re right. This song is about humility. And patience…
I Saw Mitch McConnell At Studio 52
Key lyric: “leave all your votes at the door/they got a black rubber floor/ with luck enough to get in/ we’ll spin and kiss in the light/ I know at heart you’re a freak / hey man, c’mon / mask away, mask away tonight”
Hippie Bob says: politics is sweaty and deranged. Take your conservative institutionalist like McConnell, give him some blow and some disco and some Lou Reed cuddles, and you’re like, jesus, we’re all in this together. And this? This is totally fucked. Filthy, self-serving, and totally fucked. Take that mask down from every person, every lefty snowflake, every righty windbag, and you check that shit at the door and get a big sweaty 70s orgy.
It’s A Miracle
Key lyric: “Loud proud Lauren liked to bash on Trump/ went to every rally she could find / trashed some guy for his Shariah law / the friendly Sikh was gentle and kind”
Hippie Bob says: Man, that lyric above, that actually happened, and that bothered me more than anything I saw or heard from the arch-right over the last few years. Because the ones on the left are supposed to be the good guys, right? The ones with hearts and education? Nah. Here’s some lady who has done absolutely zero homework and gets up on her high horse and could not be more wrong, and she’s just giving heaps upon heaps of cannon fodder to the conservative right who think liberals lack backbone and realism. And right here, they’d be right. Listen. JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE ON THE HUMANIST SIDE OF THE AISLE, BROADLY SPEAKING, DOESN’T SOMEHOW MEAN YOU’RE NOT PERSONALLY STILL A FUCKING MORON. Makes me wanna move to Saturn, man.
Key lyric: “I’m rubber to your glue/ I’ll win again, I always do / We got the hybrid nation before you”
Hippie Bob says: You want a witch hunt, Donny J? You got one. People used to get falsely persecuted and tortured to death. Like the worst stuff you can imagine. And here he goes again, talking like a child who plays jump rope with himself and got held back like multiple times in 1st grade. And he always wins, it’s true! Or at least, he always gets away with stuff. So, come together, brothers and sisters. Even you, you racist nationalists, you homophobes, you conspiracy-drinking weirdos. Even you, because he’s your enemy too, trust me. So get the entire country together and burn that witch at the stake. Might be one of the few times in history there was justice in that gesture.
Key Lyric: “now they come with a righteous air / crying foul and ‘you don’t dare’/ each crusader checks their hair / ‘we went to college’ / Jesse Jackson shakes his fist / baker taps his shoulder, says ‘you might have missed, I’ll sell to black men as long as they don’t kiss’
Hippie Bob says: this is another tricky song, man, because it’s kind of coming down on the conservative side of the bench and I so don’t live there. It’s about Jack Phillips, who wouldn’t make a cake for a gay couple - the case went to the supreme court. Do I share Jack’s beliefs? God no. Is it good to have dialogue about the space where person and proprietor intersect? Absolutely. But, as the song says, you gotta shine the spotlight on the other side, even when you really don’t want to. In this case, it was like, pick your battles, man. Like after the first case against the guy, I think someone else went to his cake shop with the same request, I guess to make a point, but if the guy feels the way he does, and he ain’t hurting anyone, damn, leave him alone and go buy a cake somewhere else. And he’s not wearing like a Camp Auschwitz t-shirt or something. He doesn’t have some sign in his window saying we don’t cater to colored trade. He believes homosexuality is wrong, and I 100% disagree with him, but since I’m not gonna change his mind, and since he’s there politely behind his cake shop counter, trying to make his living, it’s like… stop antogonzing everybody you possibly can. Pick your fucking battles, man.
I Need You
Key Lyric: “I’m in charge of rules and weapons / But with you it all starts / Cuz when the bombs erupt and the last ditch fails / Twas you in charge of my heart”
Hippie Bob says: So, like, this song conflates the pathological narcissism of most political figures with actual one-on-one romantic love. Which is twisted, but it kinda makes sense. Specifically, I think it’s most poking fun at the Trump cult: it’s like this weird, desperate two-way love that has nothing to do with reason or leadership. And I know Trump doesn’t love anybody, like ever, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t need people. So this song eroticizes that. Yuck. But honestly, it also applies to so many political figures. No one can deny their lingo is disingenuous - and monotonous; goddamn do people have short memories - but again, it’s like the person in power lusts so much for themselves that they start lusting for their constituents? I dunno maybe I’m just high. Do you wanna get high? Loyalty is his boner, man.
Tune Out All The Noise
Key Lyric: “Paying for the dead now / Rough beast arriving / Now over to our expert on the scene”
Hippie Bob says: Damn this is kind of bleak. It’s like a requiem for a world of calm and order. The news media has gotten so pervasive, so loud, that it like heralds the apocalypse. This song is begging people to step away from the blaring red headlines, the mile-a-minute information. It’s so sad, man. I remember when Cronkite came on to announce that JFK had been assassinated. No lights, no intense music, no cut aways. Just his voice, stating facts, with grace and humanity and humility. Can you imagine what that would have been like now? Special report, hour 43, minute 61! We have a panel of three specialists who are going to be talking over each other at the same damn time! Brought to you by CryptoScam dot scam! And I gotta say, Fox News is a bag of dicks but really CNN is just as bad. Maybe fewer lies, yeah, but the temperature still gets jacked up to God knows what and it’s hard to process anything with expansive thought and skepticism. So this song references Keats and Dawn of the Dead and farm animals, and it begs you to be kind to yourself by stepping away from the news noise, the social media noise, the noise noise. Go find a bench and read a book that you can actually hold. You’ll be ok.
Key Lyric: “This is the way / The way that I feel / So it must be real”
Hippie Bob says: This song is like an eternal psychological argument. When you feel something so strongly that it either becomes fact or makes you not care whether or not it’s even factual, then what’s the point of debate? People just end up talking past one another and fuck-all nothing gets accomplished. And this song sounds kind of sci-fi because it’s like alien scientists have thrown two people with diametric views and feelings into a lab. And what’s crazy is that they’re somehow listening to each other and also just not listening at all. And you’re thinking, like, you idiot, why can’t you just do some research? But, sadly, it’s not about that. People are governed by their feelings, by and large, and I don’t know how you get around that without some forcible lobotomies and shit. I guess in the end the song is preaching empathy and listening skills, at least to a point. But it’s also warning you that trying to ‘convince’ someone else of something can end up being a useless battle. Maybe it’s more fruitful to simply shore up your own dialectical skills. Half the population might still be stupid, but the conversations at least wouldn’t sound like dueling theramins.
The Statue of Robert E Lee
Key Lyric: “But a lot of people / When they see your stone / Think not of civic pride / But rather of whip on bone”
Hippie Bob says: This is another case where you need perspective, context, historical knowledge. Robert E. Lee was not a bad guy. He fought for the wrong side - the bad side, you could say - but he was a learned and honorable man. None of that has anything to do with his stupid statue. Why do you care about a statue? And, even if you do, have some empathy and be like, Ok, I care about this statue because I don’t have anything better to do, but let’s get rid of it anyway because it makes other people feel extremely uncomfortable. Other people, at that, who have been fucked over as a group time and time again. So boo fucking hoo for your white southern pride. You’ll be ok, and you can keep being proud if you want. But here’s the main thing. It’s a STATUE. As such, it’s an icon, and icons can have great power, but when you think about it in another way, maybe like as an alien looking down at the earth, you see that the whole thing is absolutely absurd. So, you see, in this song, they take that absurdity and chaos to its breaking point by having the actual statue come to life and opine upon its own removal. And Robert E Lee is like, fine, take me down. It would be nice if people knew that I was both a military and historical scholar and not some sieg heiling Klan moron, but you know what? I’m dead, I’m just a statue, and it’s not a big deal to take me down given the tortured history involved. Find something else to bitch about, ok? Maybe go plead the case for that gumball machine they want to throw away outside of the Walmart. I’ve got some serious attachment to that, man.
Demon Haunted World
Key Lyric: “Trance me in this demon-haunted world / Neither friend nor foe have the answers”
Hippie Bob says: Man oh man. Carl Sagan meets sad Beethoven here. This tune is a lament for the death of science and skeptical wonder. The late Beethoven sonata nod is in there because there is a profoundly mystical, inexplicable, spiritual side to all of this. But there’s order and reason in the construction. It’s spiritual but not superstitious. I’d like to think the world and the heart and the mind work best together when the known and the unknowable totally hold hands on a quiet autumn lane somewhere. The lament part comes in because there’s so much that’s painful and frustrating in life, and just giving in to those hiding swooping demons that explain away the need for scientific thought - that makes it so much more sad because it’s almost like you’re giving up. I think it breaks God’s heart when you turn away from science, because you’re turning away from a truly spiritual search to figure out why you think and feel in the first place.